Churches depend on the generosity of the faithful. That generosity, however, has limits—and there are things your church can do to better encourage your members’ giving.
1. You Need to Ask
Asking for money is one of the hardest, most unpleasant things churches have to do. However, you can’t rely on members to give on their own, with no prompting. You need to ask for donations, and that requires having some sort of fundraising strategy.
To develop your fundraising strategy, make sure you:
- Identify and target the most likely and biggest donors in your congregation
- Emphasize a reason for giving—either ongoing or for a specific cause
- Encourage ongoing or regularly scheduled donations
And, most important, you actually have to ask for the donation. Many people simply won’t give without being prompted, so prompt them.
2. You Need Online Giving
It used to be you could rely on bills and coins in the collection plate and some checks coming in through the mail. It doesn’t work that way any more.
Most people don’t carry much if any cash with them, so that rules out impromptu Sunday morning giving. Many people, especially younger people, don’t have checkbooks or checking accounts, so there goes that approach, too.
Instead, most people today pay for things with credit or debit cards or automatic bank withdrawals. They’re used to shopping online and paying by filling out a simple web form. That’s what they expect, and your church needs to meet those expectations.
That means setting up online giving on your website and making it as easy as possible for church members and visitors alike to make online donations. Your online giving page should be short and simple and very clean looking. It needs to be easy to navigate and not require signing up or gathering unnecessary information. Online giving needs to be simple for all involved.
3. You Need Mobile Giving
More people access the Internet from their phones than from their computers, which means you need to include mobile giving in your online giving mix. If you direct mobile users to a standard giving page designed for desktop PCs, you’ll lose them. Your giving page needs to be designed or adaptable for mobile users, or you need text-based mobile giving. However you do it, you have to make giving easy for people using their smartphones.
4. Remember Your Audience
When you’re crafting your giving message, take into account the age and demographics of your target audience. If the majority of your big donors are older, which is the case for many churches, craft your message for their ears. Use language that appeals to your target audience and use the media they use. (Postal mail is still king among many seniors, while younger users prefer text messaging.)
5. Making Giving Easy
However and wherever you ask for donations, you have to make it easy to give. For people watching your services online, directing them to the giving page on your website is essential. For people attending in-person church, make sure you have an easy way to give from their mobile phones. (Text giving is great for this.) If you’re soliciting donations via postal mail, make it easy for them to send you a check or give from a short, easily typed URL on your website.
If you make it too difficult, fewer people will give. Make it easy for people to give both spontaneously and in a planned fashion and you’ll increase your church’s giving.
Talk to the expert advisors at GIVE BACK GATEWAY today to add easy-to-use online and mobile giving to your church.